Oswalt Academy holds Medieval Museum Night in Walnut
Serf's up obviously had a different meaning during the Middle Ages. Serfs were slaves bound to the land in feudal times.
"Serfs had to get up before dawn, then work all day for their master," explained 12-year-old serf Alexandra Dani Roos. "We have to do whatever the master asks."
The seventh-grader at Oswalt Academy in Walnut was playing her part in the annual Medieval Museum Night. That's when students wrap their study of the feudal system by presenting their projects.
Kennidy Brown looked very regal in her papal gowns. The 12-year-old explained the importance of religion in the Middle Ages.
Classmate Rachel Nera portrayed a nun. They stood behind a picture of a sprawling monastery, when such
organizations were centers of power and commerce.
The two had even made a reliquary, a case in which relics, such as the bones of a saint, were kept. These relics were venerated by the religious society.
Carlo Batac and Sebastian Ruiz looked grand in their chain mail and tunics. The two soldiers obviously had spent a lot of time on their project.
A beautiful ballista sat on the table in front of them. The large wooden crossbow was used to hurl giant spears at the enemy.
Paul Gomez and Huy Hong, both 12, followed up with large pikes. The young foot soldiers used tin foil to replicate the metal spearheads mounted on long wooden shafts.
"We can pull knights off their horses with our pikes," said Gomez.
Emily Vuong and Kennedy Luna-Vasquez didn't plan to get that close in combat. The 12-year-olds had built a model of a crossbow used in medieval battles.
"The crossbow fires a short, heavy arrow that can penetrate a knight's armor," Vuong explained. "But it takes a long time to reload."
Families filled the multipurpose room of Oswalt Academy. The students were being graded not only on their projects but their presentations.
"Part of your grade depends on
Gabriel Bravo and Eric Nguyen were happy to present their project on jousting.
"Tournaments allowed knights to win more money and land, as well as the respect of other knights," the Bravo said.
Camilla Wu and Samantha Zaragoza stood in front of a doll burning at the stake. A small model pictured a woman being dunked in a lake.
"They burned witches back then," Wu noted.
So how could they tell if a woman was a witch?
"They used a dunking stool to test the woman. If she drowned she wasn't a witch, if she lived she was," Zaragoza said.
Sounds like a no-win situation.
On a more peaceful note, Sarah Munoz displayed the pottery she had fashioned for her project. The seventh-grader pointed out that people had to make their own pots back then.
The 12-year-old also studied the beautiful tapestries that artisan crafted in medieval times.
These were just some of the fascinating projects that the students had built for their Medieval Museum. For one night, Oswalt Academy had been transported back to the Middle Ages, giving families a glimpse of a distant past.
626-962-8811, ext. 2801